Atlantic Theater Company to Stage World Premiere of George Brant's MARIE AND ROSETTA
A huge influence on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a legend in her time, bringing fierce guitar-playing and swing to gospel music. Tharpe was the queen of 'race records' in the 30's and 40's, a woman who played guitar as passionately as Clapton, who performed mornings at churches and evenings at the Cotton Club, who was a big enough star to fill a baseball stadium for her third wedding, but ended up buried in an unmarked grave in Philadelphia. Marie and Rosetta chronicles her first rehearsal with a young protégé, Marie Knight, as they prepare to embark on a tour that would establish them as one of the great duet teams in musical history.
Casting, creative team and dates will be announced.
SISTER ROSETTA THARPE was widely acclaimed among the greatest Sanctified gospel singers of her generation; a flamboyant performer whose music often flirted with the blues and swing, she was also one of the most controversial talents of her day, shocking purists with her leap into the secular market - by playing nightclubs and theaters, she not only pushed spiritual music into the mainstream, but in the process also helped pioneer the rise of pop-gospel.
GEORGE BRANT's plays include Grounded, Elephant's Graveyard, The Mourners' Bench, Salvage, Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile, Any Other Name, Good on Paper, Dark Room and Grizzly Mama. A Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center, his work has been produced internationally by such companies as The Public Theater, Page 73, Cleveland Play House, Trinity Repertory Company, Alley Theatre, City Theatre, London's Gate Theatre, Studio Theatre, and Australia's Red Stitch, among others. His plays have been generously developed by The Kennedy Center, Asolo Rep, The McCarter Theatre Center, New Harmony Project, Theatre @ Boston Court, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, WordBRIDGE Playwright's Lab, Playwright and Director Center of Moscow, and the Hangar Theatre. Brant's scripts have been awarded the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center, the Smith Prize, the Keene Prize for Literature, an NNPN Rolling World Premiere, A Scotsman Fringe First Award, an Off-West End Theatre Award, three Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards, a Creative Workforce Fellowship and the Theatre Netto Festival Grand Prize. He has received writing fellowships from the James A. Michener Center for Writers, the McCarter Theatre Center, the MacDowell Colony, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the Blue Mountain Center as well as commissions from Trinity Repertory, Dobama Theatre and Theatre 4. George received his MFA in Writing from the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. He is published by Samuel French, Oberon Books and Smith & Kraus.
NEIL PEPE's Broadway directing credits include the musical Hands on a Hardbody, the acclaimed revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow and A Life in the Theatre. Off-Broadway: Moira Buffini's Dying For It, John Guare's 3 Kinds of Exile, Jez Butterworth's Parlour Song, Mojo and The Night Heron; Ethan Coen's Happy Hour, Offices and Almost an Evening; Harold Pinter's Celebration and The Room; Adam Rapp's Dreams of Flying, Dreams of Falling; Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange; Hilary Bell's Wolf Lullaby; David Pittu's What's That Smell?; Howard Korder's Sea of Tranquility (all at Atlantic); David Mamet's American Buffalo (Donmar Warehouse, Atlantic); Romance, Keep Your Pantheon/School (Center Theatre Group, Atlantic); Zinnie Harris' Further than the Furthest Thing (Manhattan Theatre Club); Jessica Goldberg's Refuge (Playwrights Horizons); Tom Donaghy's The Beginning of August (South Coast Repertory, Atlantic). Frank Gilroy's The Subject Was Roses with Martin Sheen (CTG). Also, Eric Bogosian's Red Angel (Williamstown Theater Festival). Since 1992, Neil has been the artistic director of the award-winning Off-Broadway company, Atlantic Theater Company.
ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is the award winning Off-Broadway theater that produces great plays simply and truthfully, utilizing an artistic ensemble. Atlantic believes that the story of a play and the intent of its playwright are at the core of the creative process. The plays in the Atlantic repertory, from both new and established playwrights, are boldly interpreted by today's finest theater artists and resonate with contemporary audiences. Now in its 30th Anniversary Season, Atlantic has produced more than 150 plays including Tony Award winning productions of Spring Awakening and The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Martin McDonagh); New York Drama Critics Circle winner for Best New Play, The Night Alive (Conor McPherson); world premieres of I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard (Halley Feiffer); Between Riverside and Crazy (Stephen Adly Guirgis); world premieres of Almost an Evening, Offices, Happy Hour and Women or Nothing (Ethan Coen); the musical revival of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera directed by Martha Clarke; Our New Girl (Nancy Harris) Bluebird and Harper Regan (Simon Stephens); What Rhymes With America (Melissa James Gibson); 3 Kinds of Exile (John Guare); Storefront Church (John Patrick Shanley); The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Martin McDonagh); Body Awareness (Annie Baker); Romance (David Mamet); Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, adapted by Jenny Worton); Farragut North (Beau Willimon); Blue/Orange (Joe Penhall); Port Authority and Dublin Carol (Conor McPherson); Writer's Block (Woody Allen); American Buffalo and Edmond (David Mamet); The Cider House Rules(adapted by Peter Parnell); Good Television (Rod McLachlan); Celebration & The Room, The Collection & A Kind of Alaska and The Hothouse (Harold Pinter); Dying For It, Gabriel (Moira Buffini); Oohrah! (Bekah Brunstetter); Mojo, Parlour Song (Jez Butterworth); Boys' Life and The Lights (Howard Korder); Distant Fires (Kevin Heelan); The Lying Lesson, Missing Persons (Craig Lucas).
Atlantic has garnered 12 Tony Awards, 15 Lucille Lortel Awards, 16 Obie Awards, 7 Drama Desk Awards, 6 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 3 Drama League Awards, 3 New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Atlantic also operates The Atlantic Theater Company Acting School, which has an undergraduate program in conjunction with New York University, as well as a two-year professional acting program and a six-week intensive workshop every summer. Atlantic for Kids and the Educational Outreach Program partners with schools and teachers throughout the greater metropolitan area coordinating in-school visits of teaching artists and post-theater talkbacks.